Oil Paint

Choose from 3 main brands of quality oil paint.

  • Rembrandt Oil Paint - Artist quality
  • Van Gogh Oil Paint - Student Quality
  • Tales Art Creation Oil - Budget Beginner Starter Sets

Using oil paints can be as complicated or as simple as you like. 

You can either use the paint with no additives, or choose from a selection of various mediums and pastes for oil paint. Oil paints consist of pigments, usually linseed oil and filler if the paint is not Artist Quality. Oil painting is traditionally painted in layers. The idea being that each layer is fatter than the previous. However, you do not have to layer the paints; this is entirely up to you how you work with your oils.

Oil paint dries though a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air over time. The molecules are netted together in a chain like form. Light also helps the paint dry faster, and gives energy to the process. Oil paint will dry quicker if you thin it out with white spirit (or similar), but generally is days if not weeks and sometimes years for really thick painting. You certainly don't want to be in a hurry, unless you are using a quick drying medium or alkyd medium. Remember too that some colours are at risk of wrinkling; like violets, deep reds and metallic colours. For more information on wrinkling you can read our blog article. What is so unique about this type of paint is that it dries exactly as when it was applied. There is no loss of volume and the brush stroke is just as sharp whether wet or dry. You therefore know exactly what you are getting.

What about the distinctive oil paint smell?

Read More

Well...if you don't like the smell of turpentine, we have odourless white spirit, and a eucalyptus smelling rectified turpentine for cleaning your oily brushes as well as making your paint leaner if you are using the layering technique. If the smell really is a problem, or you are concerned about breathing in fumes from the solvents, you could try our popular range of Cobra Water-mixable oil paints which totally eliminates these odours and need for turpentine.


Oil Painting Techniques

With oil paint you can paint alla prima, or with layers and glazing techniques. Careful though, if the layer is too fat at first, in time the oil will crackle and fall off! If you like you can start out with diluted acrylic base and then then finish with oil but you MUST dilute first. Then add the layers of oils after, this then makes the layer become more closed. Adding solvents will make the paint leaner. If you understand the process of painting in layers its fine to crack on but if not you REALLY need to think about it and take your time with it! It is a certainly a good idea to take note of the transparency of the colour you are looking to buy, as usually you have having degrees of opacity and transparency. This is not always critical as it does depend on what colours you are painting over. Generally if you are painting over light colours then using a semi opaque or semi transparent colour will be OK (assuming you do not want the colour from the layer underneath coming though the new colour). So you can hopefully see it is a good idea to give some thought and planning before you do an oil painting. It makes an easier life if you have all the art materials you require before you begin with your oil paint masterpiece.

Why do I have to wait for the oil paint to dry before varnishing?

Once your oil painting is properly dry, the drying process transforms to an ageing process. Varnish makes the ageing process almost stop by making it much more difficult for the oxygen in air to combine with oil paint, which in the ageing process causes cracks. This is why the painting must dry completely, otherwise it will never dry. Varnish does also influences the sheen, and you can choose matt or glossy. It protects from dust, smoke and fat in the kitchen. You can even mix matt and glossy varnishes to give lots of structure. Make sure you use the spray form though. Using spray varnishes does not influence the painting, the same way a brush on varnish does.

What else do I need to I need to use oil paints?

Well apart from turpentine or white spirit, it is a good idea to have a medium to mix with the paint.You can either use the Painting Medium, or Glazing Medium. Generally though you do not need any oil based medium, as the oil paint already has the oil paint in it. One advantage that using a medium (or paste) will give is that it helps to reduce the risk of the oil paint wrinkling, as it is adding larger particles into the paint, that help it to dry at a more even rate. Try not forget to wash your brushes with turpentine or white spirit and clean out with warm soapy water. 

What if oil comes out of the tube first instead of the paint?


Talens fill the paint tubes from behind but there will always be a little air at lid which can cause separation, this is normal, but it should not be too much. We advise that you push up the paint to the tube opening to help stop this cause of air. 



Artist Quality Oil Paint

Choose from a professionally refined pallet of 120 Artist Quality Colours with a sublime Rembrandt brilliance of intensely deep colours.

What makes Rembrandt Artist Quality?

Rembrandt paint has the highest possible concentration of pigments, usually approximately 80%. The remaining 20% being made up by the binder. In addition to this, to achieve a rich smoothness, the paint goes though the grinding process on the triple grinder between 3 to 5 times. This gives an exceptionally finely ground paint with smaller pigment particles, meaning that the colour itself has a higher intensity.

All colours have the highest degree of lightfastness and very pure colours (colours made with 1 pigment) to give the greatest durability of the paint coat. The range is made up of 5 different price categories, which is determined by the cost of the pigment alone. It does not mean that a series 5 colour is better than a Series 1 colour, only that the production cost is higher. In fact some of the pigments that are used are so rare, they are more expensive than gold.



The Student Quality Oil Paint

This well known Dutch oil paint is gaining quite a sought after reputation as it becomes more established in the student & professional painting world. This paint has a bright and buttery artists oil colour with fantastic coverage without the price. This unique brand gives wonderful results with various oil painting techniques. The Van Gogh range of artists supplies has been manufactured for the artist who has some advanced painting skills.

What is the quality of Van Gogh Oil?

Although these oils are marketed as a "Student" brand, they are infact a higher standard, and almost artists quality. With the Van Gogh Oils, you also have an additional 25 colours in Series 2, with more expensive pigments so that you also have a colour choice only usually available in brands which are Artists Quality. In addition to this the pigment content is higher than normally found in Student paints, with the content being around 60%. The grinding is also quite fine as it goes though the mill between 2 and 3 times.

What are Van Gogh Paints like to use?

All the materials in the Van Gogh brand has been developed to be easy to use; so if you consider yourself a beginner or an advanced artist, then these oil colours are ideal. Lab test results have shown Van Gogh Oil to be of a high standard and are also long lasting due to the lightfastness of the quality pigments. So when you conjure up a small masterpiece, rest assured your painting will retain its value and colour strength.

Choose from a wide and balanced quality range of artists colours, including cadmium and cobalt colours. Van Gogh oil paint is ideal for the discerning recreational artist. Van Gogh oil colours are available in a wide range of different tubes of 20ml, 40ml, 60ml, 200ml, starter sets and gift boxes.

What about the environment?

Van Gogh Oil Paint has been made with careful consideration to the environment. Every product that Royal Talens make is of course made with high levels of professionalism, but with an eco-friendly mind set. An example is that instead of traditional cadmium colours alternatives have been used that are equally as good but a lot safer. The factory itself has a sophisticated water filtration system, which cleans waste water before it makes its way back into the natural environment.

Is there an alternative to oil paint that does not smell & dries quicker?

If you happen to be looking for fine art supplies in the form of an oil colour, then bear in mind that these don't necessarily have to use solvents.

Cobra Watermixable Oil Colour is unique, in that it can be thinned with water and dries quicker than ordinary oil colour, so you can continue with your painting without having to wait as long as you would with oil colour.


Entry Level Budget Oil Paint

ArtCreation Essentials oil colours contain pigments that have been ground in drying oil. The oil gives the paint its characteristic appearance and intense colours, and ensures that this versatile paint is easy to work with, and able to be used thinly as well as thickly.

The paint is suitable for all oil painting techniques, such as ‘wet-into-wet’, layered painting and glazing. ArtCreation Essentials oil colours consists of a balanced range of 36 colours that are easy to work with and excellent for mixing with one another. There are various basic starter sets available, as well as the larger 200ml tubes if you need a reasonable about of certain colours.


Read Less